Cookbook review: Dutch oven champion Matt Pelton shares pie-making tips, techniques and recipes

By David Rappleye

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, May 14 2014 2:20 p.m. MDT

"Dutch Oven Pies: Sweet and Savory" is by Matt Pelton.

Cedar Fort

"DUTCH OVEN PIES: Sweet and Savory" by Matt Pelton, Hobble Creek Press, $18.99, 112 pages

“Dutch Oven Pies: Sweet and Savory” by Matt Pelton is for the family or camp chefs that love pies or need some recipes to change their campouts.

It includes Dutch oven recipes for desserts such as Apple Crumb Pie (see accompanying recipe) to meal-type pies, such as quiche and pot pies, along with some nontraditional pies, such as shepherd’s pie and empanadas.

Pelton, winner of the International Dutch Oven Society World Championship Cook-off, also includes chapters on pie crusts, pastry techniques and tips for cooking pies, including coal placement and getting them out of the oven.

The book starts with the base of any good pie — the crust. There are three types of crust that can be used with all of the pie recipes. One of the options is the Old-Fashioned Pie Crust. When attempted, this pie crust was easy to work with, but there was a little too much grease with it, and it did not brown well while cooking.

The recipes are great for a cook who likes to follow a recipe with a Dutch oven twist on it. Pelton include a section of "just-for-fun" pies that includes recipes for Taco Pie and Lasagna pie.

Pelton shares many different pie fillings, and the ones attempted were successful and tasty. The filling recipes have specific instructions to follow, but on several, the chef can mix the ingredients in any order. However, some of the instructions may be hard to measure without a scale, such as two pounds of potatoes.

Most of the photographs in the book are in the chapter on the crust-making process, and there are only a few with the recipes.

Overall, it is a good cookbook and allows for diversity or something new in Dutch oven cooking.

******

Apple Crumb Pie

1 pie crust

For the apples:

4 cups thinly sliced, peeled and deseeded tart apples, such as Granny Smith

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

For the topping:

1/3 cup flour

¼ cup oatmeal

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

8 tablespoons butter

Lay the prepared pie crust in a Dutch oven or a cast-iron skillet. Crimp the edges and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and cinnamon for the topping, and then cut the butter in with a pastry cutter. Set aside. Mix together the ingredients for the apples and lay them in the bottom of the pie shell.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, layer the crumble topping on top of the apples.

Bake at 375 degrees for another 10-15 minutes. The crust should be a deep golden brown. Let the pie rest for several minutes before serving.

— “Dutch Oven Pies: Sweet and Savory” by Matt Pelton

If you go ...

What: Learn to cook with your Dutch oven demonstration by Matt Pelton

When: Saturday, May 17, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Cedar Fort Publishing and Media, 2373 W. 700 South, Springville

Cost: $10 for class and lunch; $18.99 for class, lunch and book

Note: Registration available at eventbrite.com or at the Books and Things outlet, 2373 W. 700 South, Springville; 10 percent of proceeds to benefit the Utah Food Bank.ent to benefit the Utah Food Bank.

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